Five Towns Terrific for Fall
Last Updated: 12/15/2014
By Manya Kaczkowski
Put away the suntan lotion and beach towels. It’s time to bring out the wine glasses and cameras. You’re going to love Wisconsin’s fall colors! Very few states offer the beauty and seasonal attractions like a fall trip to Wisconsin.
Sample the Fall Harvest in Stone Lake
Stone Lake Cranberry Festival
They resemble shiny red pearls, thousands of them, floating on the cool waters of the bog. This wonderful fall festival offers more than 300 artisans, crafters and food vendors. Other fall activities include a parade, cranberry bake-off and Crate Derby – these homemade race cars are a hoot. Start with cran-cakes at the fire house, tour the Stone Lake Historical Museum and then board a bus bound for the marshes to get a close-up view of the fall harvest. But purchase your cranberries early – they usually sell out by noon
Later, head over to Schoolhouse Wines. Admire the beautiful fall colors in Wisconsin while relaxing by the fireplace on their outdoor patio with a glass of seasonal wine or a cocktail.
Dewar’s Black Bear Pub
Meanwhile, this pub has terrific burgers and chili – the perfect fall food in Wisconsin. This is, hands-down, the best place to watch a Packer game, with discounted buckets of beer and friendly trash-talking (especially when we play the Vikings!).
New Mountain Bed & Breakfast
End your scenic fall day at New Mountain Bed and Breakfast, where you can schedule a relaxing massage and wake up to the smell of fresh bakery.
Mars Haunted House
It’s not just the fall weather giving you the chills in Milwaukee this Halloween. Located in Milwaukee's Historic District Mars Haunted House has verified accounts of paranormal activity. This haunted house is dedicated to scaring the life out of you and is not appropriate for young children.
Milwaukee Food Tours Trick-or-Chocolate
Perhaps you’d like to sink your own teeth into something juicy; on Milwaukee Food Tours Trick-or-Chocolate Halloween Bus Tour, it’s all creepy stories and scrumptious food, as you travel by bus through local cemeteries, ghostly streets and haunted neighborhoods. With spooktacular treats this 3-hour tour is fun for the whole family.
For a real Halloween freak-out, visit the nearby Waukesha Feargrounds, where you’ll visit the most gruesome haunted houses around, while evil witch Morgana and her terrible troop of troublemakers have their wicked way with you.
Channel your own favorite ghost with a clairvoyant medium at Brumder Mansion, a B&B with lots of Halloween spirit(s). Lose yourself in mystery with "An Evening With Edgar Alan Poe," this spooky event will leave you with chills. Spend the night… if you dare.
Fall…In Love this Season by visiting St. Croix Falls
Chateau St. Croix
A little wine can heat things up, and the St. Croix Valley is particularly romantic during the fall season, when the rich fertile soil produces a lush autumn harvest of Frontenac and Prairie Star grapes. Tour the vineyards of Euro-style Chateau St. Croix, exploring the carriage house, stables, and gardens, then settle in for appetizers and seasonal fall wines – from rich oaked Chardonnay to Ruby Port.
Blaze a Trail this Fall in Black River Falls
This time of year, Black River Falls is all about enjoying autumn outdoors – before the snow flies. More than 235 of miles of ATV trails are open to the public until 10/15 (Jackson County) or 10/31 (Clark County) – it’s an exciting way to experience the spectacular fall foliage of Black River State Forest.
If paddling is more your style, then Black River offers the perfect waterway for experiencing the natural beauty of fall in Wisconsin – lots of folks put their kayaks or canoes in below Lake Arbutus and head downriver, stopping to make camp along the sandbars.
Drivers, meanwhile, can meander through the breathtaking fall colors on over 12 miles of Rustic Road 54, following the old Wazee Trail; it’s a great way to leaf-and-bird watch. From sandhill cranes to eagles, the surrounding marshes are packed with local and migratory feathered friends.
Seasonal Fall Foods
For sustenance, stop in for a cold one at Sand Creek Brewing Co. – they’ve got 150+ years of rich brewing history under their belts. Then saddle up to Re-Pete’s Saloon and Grill for a fish fry or a he-man sized cut of prime rib – the perfect food for fall.
Explore the Fall Countryside in Shawano
Caroline Lions Colorama
They call it Shawano “Country” for a reason: it’s filled with farms, lakes and idyllic pastoral fall scenery. In October, horsemen and women take to the trail for the Caroline Lions Colorama. Engage in a little two-stepping Friday night, and saddle up on Saturday and Sunday – or simply come for the autumn horseshoe tournament, wagon rides, craft fair, parade and auction.
Country Miles of Art
Shawano Country Miles of Art features showcases from both emerging and established artisits and the beauty of Shawano County that inspires artists of all ages. Explore area artists’ studios, with sculpture, paintings, jewelry, pottery and more available for purchase.
Key Fall Activities
On Saturday, a farmer’s market, Oktoberfest celebration and barn dance liven up Shawano’s autumn season, in addition to a quilt show. Another quilt show can be seen, by the way, on more than 50 barns in Shawano Country, perhaps while you’re peeping at Wisconsin’s fall foliage. Worth a stop is artsy little Wittenberg, with their 22 murals (Walls of Wittenberg) depicting the culture and history of the town. There’s also a brand-new WOWSPACE Gallery and performance venue in town, and an Art Park filled with sculpture.